Black Dog

Just a little outpost on the web for me to ramble, post pix, share ideas, and be a part of the crowd.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I'm A Loser........

Busy, busy, busy.....but I shouldn't use that as an excuse for not blogging. I'm making headway on the garter-stitch cardi (only one front and half of the second sleeve to go) and I have yet to show it to you. I started a sock yesterday evening with a skein of TOFUtsies that the good folks at South West Trading sent ahead so I could play with the yarn before our shipment arrived (THANKS, worked wonders!), and our big shipment of that new sock yarn arrived today at the shop. (yes, that means all 30 shades of TOFUtsies are available from $16 a skein). Just after our great staff got it all stickered, it was hit hard by the three customers in the shop at that hour. And I'm still here at 10:45 p.m. (after having dinner with Matt and Deb when we closed up for the night). It was fun to sit and chat with the two of them in a non-store environment.

For those of you who keep track of such things, it's an alternate Friday, so we must have new yarn from Meg, right?

That's the display that greets you when you walk in the front door. The new portion would be this

Five (Wing, Batty, Octarine, Chomp, and Taffy) are her traditional 100% superwash merino (480 yards, sock/fingering weight) and one is the bamboo blend (400 yds, 60% superwash wool, 30% bamboo, 10% nylon, only slightly thicker than sock and not quite sport), which would be the Curly. Each skein is $27 and worth every single penny--I've knitted with it myself and the stripes are fab and either yarn is incredibly soft in hand and just lush on the needles!

In other news, we've met with sales rep after sales rep for fall/winter 2007 buying for the shop, and I find it interesting to watch the pendulum swing as various types of knitting go IN and OUT of fashion. The big trend is to finer-gauge yarns, more lush materials, and more intricate designs/construction/stitching. While some brands are still bringing out super-bulky gauge yarns, most are introducing things around sport gauge (6 sts/inch). And pattern collections for fall look quite interesting as well. The funniest thing to me is to watch some of the larger, more staid companies fall in line with what we knitters already knew---sock knitting is HOTTER THAN HOT. We're seeing new sock yarn entries from Filatura di Crosa and Classic Elite appearing later this summer (around July/August), with a couple other companies repositioning some of their finer-gauge stuff for the sock market. Wahoo! More choices! Plus, overall I think we're very pleased with the vast majority of what we're buying for the upcoming cooler-weather season. We're spending like drunken sailors in port, but I have faith that if we work hard enough, we can continue to see strong sales through summer and into "busy season" come August. HOORAY! And just wait until you see some of the new things we've ordered from some of the smaller/independent folks out there...YUM

Need anything you see or read about today? Slip me an e-mail or contact us toll free at 866-939-BEAR. We're here to help! We have YOU out there reading to thank for our upswing in traffic--both on foot and online. Thank you for supporting us and our vision of good things for great fiber artists! It is gratifying to see how you've embraced ThreadBear and where we're headed....MWAH. I kees you now!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I've been saying that alot lately, but this time I *really* mean it. In the past week, we've

  • sponsored and coordinateed three days of workshops with the fantabulous Lucy Neatby

  • hosted said fabulous person for six days (nothing better than having a friend around from Sunday evening to Friday morning!)

  • prepared for (and hosted, on Saturday) an onslaught of shoppers from Chicagoland via motorcoach (more on this later)

  • taught several classes of my own (afterthought heel workshop, beginning crochet, intro to socks)

  • met with a sales rep for the entire day yesterday (the new fall/winter lines from GGH/Muench Yarns are incredible--we purchased deep and heavy!)....we also have two more reps coming this week, which will almost finish our fall/winter buying from our major vendors

  • worked hard on two model garment sweaters for the shop

  • enjoyed our Saturday Cinema evening at the shop (we showed "For Your Consideration", which was odd, even for movies from these folks, who gave us "Best in Show", "A Mighty Wind", and others)

  • lived a little bit...and even relaxed....and took the pups to the vet for a much-needed pedicure already this morning (Connor's check-up was particularly good!)

    Oh, and I ordered more good stuff for the shop, beyond the fall/winter ordering we've been working on.....have you seen advance pictures of this stuff yet?

    That's the fifteen new shades of Tofutsies, which arrived at the distributor on Monday morning. If I heard Joe correctly when he and I spoke last night, our box was the first one packed, and I know it left yesterday, as I have a tracking number (1ZW936F70346379139 so you, too, can stalk the package's progress to us and know exactly when it arrives on Friday). Not only will we have some of all the new shades, we'll also stock all of the original shades, for your sock needle enjoyment. So all 30 color combos of Tofutsies will be here on Friday of this week......yum, new sock yarn! And it already has strong pattern support!

    I'm going to go knit awhile on the sleeves for a model cardi that I'm nearly finished with (pictures later today or tomorrow). Plus, I'm going to go by the shop when we get our daily deliveries (there's at least two shipments coming today that make me very happy--both from vendors we haven't had new goodies from in awhile, and both of which are the exact type of stuff I love to work with!). Then it's off to a grocery store to crush cans (we have a 10-cent deposit on all carbonated beverage containers, and we have a HUGE backlog of cans/bottles in a storeroom from personal and customer thirst quenching that I must attend to today. That also means I'll be calling the owner of a great yarn distributorship that I need to catch up with and whom I always call when I'm smashing's our little "regular date", in a twisted way.

    Be well.....and sorry about the lack of posting. That's changing as of today!